Simple plastic parts created in a 3D printer and some off-the-shelf electronics come together in a robotic device that can survey utility lines looking for problems. "Current line inspection robots are large, complex and expensive," said Nick Morozovsky, a graduate student in mechanical engineering. The SkySweeper device developed by Morozovsky and colleagues at the University of California, San Diego, is much simpler and could be manufactured for less than $1,000 a copy.

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